Areas of Specialization
Comparative Literature, Coleridge, Textual Studies
Activities and Interests
Raimonda Modiano is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and director (with Mí?eál Vaughan) of the program in Textual Studies at the University of Washington. A scholar of S. T. Coleridge, Modiano is the author of Coleridge & the Concept of Nature (1985) and co-editor of Coleridge‘s Marginalia to German works for volumes 2 through 6 of Bollingen Princeton edition of his Collected Works (1984-2001). In addition to articles and book chapters on British Romanticism, she edited (with Nicholas Halmi and Paul Magnuson) Coleridge’s Poetry and Prose (2003), the Norton critical edition, and (with Peter Shillingsburg and Leroy Searle) the volume Voice, Text and Hypertext: Emerging Practices in Textual Studies (2003). Her numerous grants and honors include teaching awards from the Department of English and the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award . She is currently completing a book called “Contracts of the Heart”: Sacrifice, Gift Economy and Literary Exchange in Coleridge and Wordsworth. She teaches three basic courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level: a course on theories of gift exchange and sacrifice drawing on interpretations of these fundamental contractual systems of exchange by anthropologists, sociologists and literary theorists, a well as their representation in literature and art; a course on romantic aesthetics (“The Beautiful, the Picturesque and the Sublime”), examining important transformations of sensibility, cultural practices, literature and art in the the nineteenth century influenced by the equally popular but rival aesthetics of the sublime and the picturesque (with incursions into the development of British landscape painting under the influence of 17th-century Italian and Dutch painters, as well as into the differences between the Romantic and post-modern sublime); and a course on textual theory, one of the four core courses for the Textual Studies Program, which offers a broad introduction to basic concepts in textual theory (such as text versus sign, document, work and book; author and authorial intention; biographical and sociological contexts to texts) and varieties of editorial practices and also examines the relationship of textual studies to disciplines such as literary theory, architecture, art, the law and information science.